The Daily Telegraph

Gibraltar ‘will never’ accept Spanish guards

- By James Crisp in Gibraltar

GIBRALTAR will never accept Spanish border guards on its territory, its first minister told MPS yesterday.

Fabian Picardo said that Gibraltar could accept guards from Frontex, the EU’S border and coast guard agency, instead.

Gibraltari­an officials want a bespoke deal to preserve de facto freedom of movement over the border with Spain, which has become more difficult since Brexit. While the Rock is dependent on Spanish labour, it is also a major employer for the Spanish region of Andalusia.

Negotiatio­ns over a Brexit deal for Gibraltar resume next week with hopes building that an agreement could be struck by Christmas.

Mr Picardo told the European scrutiny committee of MPS that Gibraltar would never accept Spanish boots on Gibraltari­an territory.

But he said that Frontex staff could check the passports of travellers entering Gibraltar’s airport so they could cross into Spanish territory with a min- imum of fuss.

“Gibraltar will never accept that there should be Spanish law enforcemen­t agents present in Gibraltar. We have been very clear about that.

“That is not going to change but we believe that with an independen­t agency such as Frontex … able to provide that immigratio­n control, which would then relieve people of the need to have immigratio­n control at the frontier, we believe that would be advantageo­us.”

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